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3 Incredible Ways Video Games Hack Your Brain

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WE’RE IN YOUR MIND, MAAAAAAN. Everyone knows that video games are a great way to kick back and enjoy yourself, but there’s more going on in your gaming session than meets the eye. What if we told you that games like Rainbow Six: Siege, Minecraft and Half Life 2 are actually hacking your brain?

This is TheGamer's list of the wild ways that video games hack your brain in ways you might never expect!

WHAT DO YOU THINK:

What’s your favorite moment of a game toying with your mind?

What other brain hacks should be on this list?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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When you play a video game, you’re doing more than just exercising your reflexes and your hand-eye coordination. In reality, video games are subtly affecting your thoughts in ways that science indicates might be more permanent than we realize. No, they aren’t “Going to rot your brain” but they do teach you manners of thinking that can be useful later in life.

Not only that, but your perception of the world is subtly guided and shaped by millions of small design decisions that change the way in which you see the world and your place in it. When you play Minecraft, you exercise the same parts of the brain that let you relate objects and concepts in the real world to one another, and developing that capacity through play endures well beyond when you stop playing for the session.

Learning to metagame - to anticipate the thoughts, reactions, and movements of others - is central to games like Rainbow Six: Siege, as well as to basic strategic thinking in all other aspects of life. There is a degree of basic empathy involved in all strategy, because it necessarily involves getting into the mindset of another person and anticipating what their next thought will be. This strategic mindset is not only useful for Siege, it’s useful in politics, law, and dozens of other highly-important professions where strategy is called for.

Finally, games themselves speak in a language of visual and mechanical implications that shape our understandings of the world and our place in it in ways we don’t immediately realize. When you play a well-crafted FPS like Half-Life 2, you’re in a kind of dialogue with the game’s creators. With lighting cues, eyeline, and mechanical feedback, Valve are teaching you to play the game and understand its world without ever having to explicitly tell you any of it.

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